Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General, today expressed satisfaction at the performance of the economic offset program which started with American companies and has been extended to both British and French firms. Prince Sultan made these remarks following a visit of inspection to two companies that are working under the program, the Advanced Electronics Company (AEC) and to the Al-Salam Aircraft Company, both in Riyadh, and expressed the hope that a fruitful and effective cooperation could be developed incorporating the private sector, national industries, state-run bodies, and joint ventures, praising the steps so far taken to transfer and adapt advanced technology.
Fifteen companies have been set up so far under the program, with a total invested capital of SR 2.8 billion (U.S. $ 0.75 billion) and around 2,000 employees, in such varied fields as electronics, pharmaceuticals, electric power, sugar refining, and petrochemicals. Their products are now competing with the best in the international market, and a number of them have won contracts from the governments of the United States and Great Britain. Moreover, the Saudization process is going well, with more than 70 percent of the employees Saudi nationals.